Grateful Dead

February 25 - March 2, 2008

Tapers Section By David Lemieux

We’re going to do another Taper’s Section this week that focuses on one year in the Grateful Dead’s recorded history, and we felt 1989 would be a good year to look into.

Virtually the entire year was excellent in 1989, and fortunately John Cutler and Le Mobile recording truck was present for a good portion of the shows (starting with June 18 at Shoreline) to record most of the shows in the second half of the year to 24 track analog tape. This, of course, allowed excellent live albums to be produced, such as Without A Net and Nightfall of Diamonds, not to mention to the DVDs Truckin’ Up To Buffalo and Downhill From Here.

Speaking of Downhill From Here, from the middle night of that fine, muddy three night stand at Alpine Valley, on 7/18/89, we have the end of the first set, Memphis Blues, Bird Song>Promised Land. This night is often overshadowed by the previous and following shows, but there was plenty of great stuff played on 7/18 including this nifty trio of tunes.

While we’re checking out the summer of 1989, we have this excellent show-opening combination from 7/10/89 at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, Feel Like A Stranger>Franklin’s Tower. This show was delayed due to some nasty weather, but once it got rolling, the band delivered a great show. This was one of the final versions of this pairing, for starting on 10/8/89, Franklin’s Tower would be henceforth rejoined exclusively with its original family, Help On The Way>Slipknot! Check out the guitar part Jerry lays down in Stranger; some great moments there.

We’ll now check in with some music from the Spring Tour of 1989, specifically from 4/16/89 at the Mecca in Milwaukee. This pre-Drums sequence of Saint of Circumstance>Truckin’ was a unique one. Saint was rather rare at the time, so it’s understandable that Bobby has a little trouble with the lyrics. This was drawn from the VHS digital master tape.

Jumping forward a few months, we’ll check into the magnificent Fall Tour of 1989. From the third and final night in Philadelphia, 10/20/89, we have the three songs that opened the second set, Hey Pocky Way, Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain. That makes two outstanding Scarlet>Fires played in Philadelphia in 1989, this one following on the heels of the 7/7/89 version played at JFK Stadium.

Finally, from the middle night of the Philly run in October, 10/19/89, we have a few songs from early in the first set, West LA Fadeaway, Victim or the Crime, Built To Last, Blow Away. This tour kept rolling after these shows with two great shows in Charlotte and ending with two nights in Miami, which featured one of the darkest and spaciest of the later-day Dark Stars.

Be sure to stop back next Monday for more great music from the vault. We always encourage you to write the email address below with questions or comments.

David Lemieux
vault [at]


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Joined: Jun 8 2007
Thanks David (and no link)

Another fine selection for a Monday morning. As mentioned by ironsideny, but maybe missed, "Memphis Blues, Bird Song>Promised Land" don't have a linkeroo.

Peaceful week to all!

Joined: Jul 2 2007
2nd NOTE

with all the changes in the digital world, and with the greateful business

HOW LUCKY ARE WE that we get weekly selecrtions to listen to for free,
letalone the great anyalysis and attention to FUN in the process

DAVID we are lucky to have such great guardians of the VAULT

and as i just listend to VOTC i thought I should make the effort tosay

where else do we get weekly LOVE to listen to again THANKS have a Grateful day

Joined: Jul 2 2007

mmmmmm west la fade away , great fun year to highlight again great selections

GOING back to the hartford bunch there was one serious neglect that maybe you can throw in some other tim

hartford spring 87 JERRY"S back
2nd night POST DRUMS paring of uncle johns and Dew still gives me shivers and remmebring how much i smiled knowing he was back and came to see us on the east caost

my audience is great but there must be some tapes and if yournot familiar with that second set wooof chekc it out

thanks Again David and the first two songs dont link

JUJU's picture
Joined: Jun 6 2007
miami 89

oh what a year !
89 is one of the best later years

What about releasing the famous MIAMI SHOW with the strangest dark star ?
that would be great !

Joined: Nov 21 2007
same old thing

do I really need to leave my comment ?? same old story , same old no song & no dance.... no deposit no return ,,,,,.....bummer .. do`es look very good to hear ,,..I may not be able to hear this but i do thank everyone for the hard work ...Have a Grateful Day Everyone !!!!

Joined: Feb 24 2008
Wave That Flag

David, let's get some of that 2004 Dead tour for fun, how about Cleveland? Anybody know where to get recordings of those shows? Would be very appreciated.

gdradio's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
I was at the Giants Stadium show

thanks for bringin me back, David!
Streaming Grateful Dead and more


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